Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Homeschool Crew Review: Heirloom Audio For the Temple

Heirloom Audio is passionate about bringing real history to life and they do this in the form of active listening audio dramas using sound effects, music, narration, and faced paced action to transport the listener back in time and immerse them in the story.  We have been very blessed to review several audio dramas from Heirloom Audio and were very excited to be chosen to review their latest release, For the Temple.


For the Temple from Heirloom Audio was adapted by the book of the same name by G.A. Henty.  George Alfred Henty is best known for his many historical adventure stories that were written in the late 1800's.  Heirloom Audio brings these wonderful stories to life with an outstanding cast, wonderful sound effects, and beautiful music, making the listener feel as though they are living the adventure.  It stars familiar names such as: Brian Blessed (Star Wars, Tarzan), Chris Larkin (Master and Commander, Valkyrie), Jolyon Coy (Beauty and the Beast), Julian Rhind Tutt (Oliver Twist), Cathy Sara (Downtown Abbey), and George Blagden (Les Miserables.) The CD set contains 2 CDs and takes around 2 1/2 hours to complete.  It is recommended for ages 6 and up.


All John really wants is to live in peace and continue the work of his family, growing grapes.  But there is much unrest in the area.  The different Jewish factions are fighting against each other and the Romans are moving through Palestine.  John meets Josephus and joins with his army. "A time is coming when every Jew who can bear arms will be needed in the service if his country."  After being one of the only people to survive the siege at Jotapata, he returns home with Jonas, who saved his life.  A short time later John comes up with a plan to "harass" the Roman army.  He becomes almost a legend throughout the region but not many people know he is "the" John.  When the Romans prepare to march on Jerusalem, John leads his band there because, " The first duty of any Jew is to protect the temple." He comes face to face with Titus, son of General Vespasian, and does his best to do his duty For the Temple.


In addition to the CDs, we received a 51 page downloadable study guide.  The study guide includes three main sections for each track on the disc:

Listening Well contains comprehension questions children can answer aloud or record in a notebook.

Thinking Further digs a little deeper.  Your child may have to draw conclusions from the story, do additional research, or speculate about characters thoughts or actions.

Defining Words is a list of words that may be unfamiliar that your children can look up and write the definitions to.

The study guide also has several illustrations and sections that contain interesting information relevant to the material being discussed on the CD such as: Josephus, Food in Ancient Jerusalem, Gideon's Army, and Vespasian and the Flavian Ampitheatre.  It also includes a list of books on more of the Destruction of Jerusalem for older readers, 3 Bible Studies, and a Background to our Story section.

We love to listen to Audiobooks in my house, and we all especially like the Audio Dramas from Heirloom Audio!  What is the difference?  An audiobook tells a story and may have some sound effects to enhance it, but the Audio Dramas make you feel as though you are actually a part of what is going on. It's like being at a movie but you are watching it through your mind not a screen.  Heirloom Audio always has an amazing cast.  I especially love Brian Blessed as G.A. Henty.  He has an amazing voice!  The sound effects and music are wonderful.  It truly is a listening experience.

I listened to For the Temple with my 7,9,11,13, and 15 year olds. Even though we have not seen any snow here in SW Arkansas, we have had some miserably cold days that were perfect for snuggling in and listening to For the Temple.  We divided the story into 2 days pausing after each track to ask the What Do You Remember questions from the Study Guide.  We have been studying American History the last few years and have not really talked about this time period very much although they did know that the temple was destroyed in 70 AD and we had talked about Josephus in his role as a historian.


We were all drawn immediately into the story.  One of the things that the children thought was very interesting (and funny) was when John's mother and Mary are talking about this amazing John that is leading this band and doing these things to harass the Romans and they have no idea it was him.  Later Titus would've killed him if he had known he was "the" John. and so may people are surprised when they find out it is him, a young man, instead of the great warrior they imagined.

There are hard topics covered in this story.  Many people die though it is not gory.  The people are starving and John and his group make a decision to not share their food with them.  John does share his with a mother and a child and is greatly blessed later by doing so.  It's hard to see how much God's chosen people turned away from what they had been taught, so much so that God allowed the temple to be destroyed, but we need to look at the past so we can learn about it.

John spends some time recovering with a group of people that follow "The Way." This plants seeds in his heart that later on affects not only his life, but others as well.  John was honorable in all he did, even though he wasn't always successful in what he set out to do and I think that is a great lesson for all of us, to always act with honor.

I recommend For the Temple and other Audio Dramas from Heirloom Audio.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 23

It was quite a week in our house.  Some of it was good, some of it not so good.  But the not so good could have been a lot worse.

Last Sunday when we were leaving for church, there was water on the floor in our laundry room which is also a half bath.  Art checked everything out and didn't find any problems.  We did laundry and everything was normal the rest of Sunday and Monday.  Tuesday morning there was a small amount of water on the floor again.  I shut the water off to the toilet and told the children not to use it.  But I was doing laundry and as soon as the washing machine went on the rinse cycle, water started flooding out like crazy though the laundry room and the playroom.  I turned the washer off, had the children grab all the towels they could find, and called my husband to come home from work.  To make a very long story short there was a problem with our septic that left off with no water in the house until late Wednesday afternoon.  It was a large unexpected cost but it could have been worse.  If we did not have the camper we would have had to go to a hotel.  If we had not been home when it happened to shut everything off I can't imagine what we would have come home to and since the floors are tile, drying up the water was fairly easy.

Week 23 in our Homeschool

Morning "together school" 2nd-7th grade

Bible: We completed 4 lessons in The 10 Minute Bible Journey

Read Aloud: We read 5 chapters in our YWAM biography on Ernest Shackleton.  We also listened to an Heirloom Audio Productions audiobook called For the Temple.

History: We completed the folderbook assignments for week 4 of MOH Vol 1 and read the lessons for week 5 (13-15)

Science: We finished reading chapter 11 in Apologia Anatomy and finished the notebooking pages.

Individual School

Emmie- 2nd grade.  Emmie started Singapore Dimensions 1 A this week.  She completed lessons 1-4.  I chose level 1 because they teach a bit different and I wanted to start at the beginning.  Having it be easy for a bit isn't a bad thing :) She also worked on IXL.com math and language arts 3 days this week.  We are reviewing Homeschool Complete 2nd grade and she read through some sentences and a story and drew a picture about the story.

Lily 4th grade.  Lily worked on IXL.com 3 days this week 30 minutes a day split between language arts and math.  She also did 4 days of Math in Math Lessons for a Living Education and read chapter 6 in Little House in the Big Woods.  In her own reading time she is working her way through Harry Potter.  She also made a quilt to give to Liam for Valentine's Day from some fabric scraps and did a painting of a sunset.


Anthony and Christian 6th and 7th grade- They both did 4 days of work in Rod and Staff math.  They wrote their paragraphs on The Lion and the Mouse for IEW SWI A lesson 9.  They also completed step 9 in All About Spelling Level 6.

Alex 9th grade- I went though all of Alex's work today to see where he is at with all of his subjects since he is not spending as much time per day as I think he should be working on his school work.  The work he has completed is very good but he is behind to finish when we want to finish with this year's work in May.  I dated all of his assignments from now to the end of the year hoping that will keep him on track.  His courses are: Biology 101, Apologia Health and Nutrition, Pre-Algebra, Lightning Literature, and Ancient History.  His electives include: Ag, Speech (if he completes 2 more public speaking activities) and Shop.

Nick 11th grade - Nick is taking Marketing for his class at public school.  At home he is a few weeks away from completing Notgrass Government, and on lesson 20 in Math U See Pre-Calculus.  He is working his way through Jenson Grammar and Chemistry from MasterBooks and will be starting Economics this week.

Other Activities this Week

For awhile I have been trying to figure out an activity for Alex that he would enjoy that would not be just following his older brother around.  A friend suggested Trap Shooting and I thought about it for awhile.  Recently it came up again and the opportunity came up for him to join a trap team.  I had to do some rearranging of activities and will have to rely on Nick to pick up Emmie a few times, but I think it will be really good for him.  After the first practice I found out that Christian could join too on the junior team that practices at the same time so it all worked out.

Monday the girls had gymnastics.  We had to leave a few minutes early to make it to the EH House to work on our SeaPerch.  Then later that evening we were able to test the ROV's in the water.  They all swam!




Tuesday (in the middle of the septic crisis) I took Alex to his first Trap Practice.  It was a beautiful day with temps in the 70's.  He did really well and enjoyed shooting.

Wednesday we had Kid's Club and Children's Choir.

Thursday Emmie had dance.  Christian and Alex had Trap Practice.  Temps were in the 30's and very windy!  We were so cold! The wind was awful.  After an hour I had to go sit in the van to watch the rest.  I do not know how the children were even able to load their guns.

Friday Lily had piano.  Then we headed back to the Eh House to work on the SeaPerch's some more and did more practicing in the therapy pool at the hospital.  We only have 2 weeks until the competition.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 22

I had a migraine yesterday for the first time in a long time (I haven't missed them!) and today still feel the after affects (if any of this post doesn't make sense that's why) but hopefully after a good night sleep tonight will be back to normal tomorrow.



Week 22 in our Homeschool

Bible: We completed 4 lessons in The 10 Minute Bible Journey.

P.E: We did 2 days of Family Time Fitness (it is too hard to do PE on the days we have Liam.)

Read Aloud: We read 4 chapters in our biography on Ernest Shackleton.  Christian, Lily, and Emmie played "Polar Exploration" with Liam which I thought was super cute!  We started Voyage of the Dawn Treader and are still working on Dragon Quest.

History: We finished the folderbook assignments for lessons 7-9 (week 3) of MOH Vol 1 and read the lessons for week 4 (10-12.)

Science: We started reading chapter 11 in Apologia Anatomy on the senses.  In one part of the chapter it talked about how their is no sound in space, so Anthony brought out his vacuum chamber and sucked out the air with a bell inside to show that it no longer had sound.

Music Appreciation: We completed chapter 26 in Music Appreciation I on the Star Spangled Banner.  We also went over some of the things we have learned because that was the end of the book.

Art: We had a Valentine Party coming up on Friday so the children made boxes during art time.  I did not get any pictures.  Anthony made a Delorian (car from Back to the Future) Lily a balloon, Emmie a bus, and Christian the Hogwarts Express (train from Harry Potter.)

Spelling/Reading: The boys completed step 8 in AAS Level 6.  Emmie completed lesson 31 in AAR Level 2.

Language Arts: The girls worked on IXL Language Arts this week.  Anthony and Christian wrote a key word outline and story for lesson 8 in IEW SWI A on The Princess and the Pea.

Math: The girls did 4 days of math in MLFLE.  They also worked on some math skills in IXL.com.  I am using this to work on areas they are weak in.  Christian and Anthony did 4 days of math in Rod and Staff.

Other Activities this Week

Monday we started building our SeaPerch ROV's at our STEM 4 H meeting.  Nick, Alex, and Anthony are one team and I just let them work on their own.  The other team has boys ages 10-12 so Samantha and I worked with them.  We spent an hour and a half working and then had to set it aside for another day.  I am not great at using tools or building things.  But I do think this opportunity is a good one and I was willing to lead this team even though I do not really know what I am doing. We are figuring it out together and we did have a dad that helped with the soldering for the younger team (which I was very grateful for!)





Tuesday the girls had gymnastics.

Wednesday We had Kid's Club and Children's Choir.  For Christmas this year Nick got tickets to the Sabres vs. Stars hockey game in Dallas on January 30th so Nick and Art left to go to Dallas, watch the game and then spend the night in a hotel.  The Sabres lost but they had a good time.

Thursday We dropped Emmie at dance and then went back to work on our ROV's until it was time to pick her up.  We did not get them finished and will be working on them again on Monday before testing them out in the therapy pool at the hospital.




Friday was the Valentine Potluck. Anthony woke up with a headache and a sore throat so he had to stay home.  After that Lily had piano.

Next on our agenda was seasoning meat for the 4 H BBQ Bowl.  This is our big fundraiser that helps pay for camps, scholarships, and other educational activities. 




Saturday was the BBQ Bowl.  Nick, Alex, Christian, and I were there from 6-almost 3.  It was a successful sale. 



Something interesting for this week.  Emmie's "real" name is Emelia.  We have never met anyone who shares her name.  Friday we met a little girl that was called Milly.  Her name? Emelia.  Then today at Children's Church we had a little girl who was visiting her grandparents.  She was called Mia.  But her name is Emelia. 2 little girls with the same name as Emmie in 3 days in a very small town!


 Mr. Liam still will not say Mimi.  He calls me Mama when he wants my attention.  But the other day he said," Where'd it go?"  I think if he can say that, he can say Mimi.






I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 21

Our internet was out this week from Tuesday afternoon until just before lunch Thursday.  Having no internet is certainly not the end of the world (unless you are a teenager!) but it can be a bit of an inconvenience and caused me to have to change some homeschool plans.  The art lesson I wanted to do on Wednesday could not be done because it was online.  Emmie could not use Reading Eggs and we could not use IXL.com as planned.  We could not stream our song for Music Appreciation. When the technician came out to our house Thursday schoolwork came to a standstill for the time he was here.  The reason for our internet being out? Bats got in the junction box at the end of the road and their droppings corroded some of the wires.  But it is running again.  Even though our internet has always been super slow, its all we have, and are thankful to have it back.

Monday was a day off from public schools and my husband ended up off work so we took that day off of school at home too.  We did watch Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech on Youtube.

Week 21 in our Homeschool

Bible: We read 3 lessons in the 10 Minute Bible Journey from Master Books.

Read Aloud: We read 3 chapters of the YWAM biography on Ernest Shackleton.  In the evening we finished Prince Caspian and have read the first 6 chapters of Dragon Quest.

P.E.: We did two days of Family Time Fitness.

History: We finally were able to put together the Folderbooks for the MOH Vol. 1.  Setting them up took a little bit of time. Then we completed the ones for the first set of lessons ( there were not any for the second set of lessons (4-6.)  We also read the lessons for Week 3 (7-9) and they made ziggurats out of LEGO.



Science: We completed our activities for lesson 10 including the experiment that showed what would happen to our brain without fluid to cushion it.  We used a plastic egg, real eggs, and corn syrup.  I had store bought eggs (I had Nick grab some when he was at the store one day) and happily most of our chickens are laying again so we have plenty now :)


Music Appreciation: We completed chapter 25 in Music Appreciation I on George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue.

Art: We did an Art Achieve Level 2 lesson called The Russian Fortress on Thursday after our internet was fixed and Liam was napping.  He woke up before they got finished and needed some rocking snuggles so I did not get many pictures.


Spelling/Reading: The boys completed step 7 in AAS Level 6.  Emmie completed lesson 30 in AAS Level 2.

Language Arts: Emmie did one lesson of Language Lessons for a Living Education.  There are things I really like about this curriculum and some things I don't really like.  One of the difficulties is that it includes spelling but does not even come close to the way AAS teaches it and I think it's confusing.  She also did some IXL language arts activities.  Lily did 2 lessons in Hake/Saxon Grammar and one day working on her Little House binder builder.  Anthony and Christian watched the video for lesson 8 in IEW SWI A.

Math: 3 days of math in our various books.  I just found out that I will be getting an opportunity to review Singapore Dimensions Level 1 A that I plan on using with Emmie. We have never used Singapore before but have heard good things about it and am curious to get to try it out.

Other Activities this Week: 

Monday Nick and Alex worked on pre-sales for our big 4 H BBQ fundraiser next week.

Tuesday the girls had gymnastics.
Liam having his snack right before his mama came to get him

Wednesday We had Kid's Club and Children's Choir.  Lily accompanied the choir when they sang This Little Light of Mine.


Thursday Liam discovered LEGOs that his Uncle Christian put together for him.

Emmie had dance.

Friday  morning Christian and Anthony were being crafty.  Christian made a prototype web shooter and Anthony made Thor's hammer.



Lily had piano and we had our Nature Seekers 4 H Meeting. 





Emmie wasn't acting like herself at the meeting and right before bed that night started running a low grade fever.  She had a snotty nose and her biggest complaint was a stiff neck.  I kept her home from church this morning but she is already much better and got outside for a little while this afternoon to enjoy the beautiful weather.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

January Nature Seekers 4 H Meeting

When we were at Grandview in December for our STEM co-op, one of the ladies that presents programs mentioned that she had a fun program that taught bird calls.  In January it is too unpredictable to have meetings outside and Game and Fish always puts on great programs for us so I asked if they could come for our January meeting.  The E H House where we usually hold our meetings was unavailable but my church is great about allowing us to use the fellowship hall when we need to. 


It was a fun program.  We were introduced to several Arkansas birds and got to listen to their calls. Some of them I had never heard before and I will not forget!  After learning the different calls we played bird call Bingo.



Each of the participants also earned a beginner patch for participating in the Watchable Wildlife Program from Game and Fish.  It is a new program they are starting that children and adults can do that for different programs they attend and activities they do they earn different levels of patches and after so many levels get a vest or bag to put them on.